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2004 Ron Paul Chapter 11

Ron Paul H. Res. 412 Honoring Men And Women Of The Drug Enforcement Administration — Part 2

3 March 2004

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H. Res. 412 Honoring Men And Women Of The Drug Enforcement Administration — Part 2
3 March 2004

2004 Ron Paul 11:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining? The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. SHAW). The gentleman from Texas has 14 minutes remaining.

2004 Ron Paul 11:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

2004 Ron Paul 11:3
Regarding the loss of lives, whether it is 3,000 that some report, or 20,000, many of those would be preventable if we did not have the drug wars going on. The drug wars go on because people are fighting for turf and then the police have to go in and try to stop them because prices are artificially high. We have created the incentive for drug violence. We take something worthless and make it worth billions of dollars. We set the stage for terrorists.

2004 Ron Paul 11:4
Right now, because of the policies in Afghanistan, 80 percent of Afghanistan now has been returned to the drug lords. If the drugs were worthless, there would be no incentive to promote them. But they are worth a lot of money, so inadvertently our drug war pushes the prices up, and we create the incentive for the Taliban and others to raise the poppies and send the drugs over here. Then they finance the terrorists. So it is an unintended consequence that does not make any sense. It does not have to happen.

2004 Ron Paul 11:5
The big challenge is will anybody ever be willing to raise the questions and suggest another way. Could we have made a mistake, such as we did with the prohibition of alcohol? This does not mean that everybody has everything they want. Alcohol is legal, but kids get marijuana and other drugs easier on the street than they get their alcohol, because there is such a tremendous incentive.

2004 Ron Paul 11:6
During prohibition it was very well known that because alcohol was illegal, the more concentrated it is and the higher price it is because you can move it about and because it is contraband. So there is a tremendous incentive to do that. And then, when it is illegal, it becomes more dangerous. That is exactly what happens on drugs.

2004 Ron Paul 11:7
One hundred years ago, you could buy cocaine in a drugstore. Most Americans would be tremendously surprised to realize that for most of our history drugs were not illegal. The first marijuana law was in 1938. And they got around that on the constitutional aspect by just putting a tax on it. So there is a lack of respect for how we solve our problems, a lack of wisdom on what we ought to do, and a lack of concern; and this is my deep concern as a physician, a lack of concern for seeing people dying and suffering.

2004 Ron Paul 11:8
Just think of the people who claim and are believable that they get some relief from marijuana, the paraplegics and those who have cancer and receiving chemotherapy. And in our arrogance, we, at the national level, write laws that send the DEA in to cancel out the States that have tried to change the law and show a little bit of compassion for people that are dying.

2004 Ron Paul 11:9
We are constitutionally wrong, we are medically wrong, we are economically wrong, and we are not achieving anything. We have no faith and confidence in our constitutional system. We have no faith and confidence that we change moral and personal habits through persuasion, not through armed might.

2004 Ron Paul 11:10
This is a choice. Nobody is for the use of drugs that I know of. But there is a big difference if you casually and carelessly resort to saying, oh, it is good that you do not do drugs, to let us create a drug army to prance around the country, and then lo and behold houses are invaded, mistakes are made, innocent people are killed, and it does not add up.

2004 Ron Paul 11:11
It is still astounding to me to find out that the DEA was not even created by congressional legislation. It was created by an executive order. We have gone a long way, colleagues, from where the respect for the Constitution existed and that at least the Congress should legislate. Even in the 1920s, when we attacked alcohol, we had enough respect for the Constitution to amend the Constitution.

2004 Ron Paul 11:12
Mr. Speaker, I think we are deceiving ourselves if we think the war on drugs is being won, and the failure to look at the unintended consequences, the real cost. As a matter of fact, this resolution brings up the real cost, this long list, this long tragic list of individuals who have been killed over this war.

2004 Ron Paul 11:13
So I am asking once again not so much to be in opposition to this resolution, but this resolution is to praise 30 years of the DEA and to praise an agency that really has no authority because it comes only from the executive branch, but for us to someday seriously think about the problems that have come from the war on drugs.

2004 Ron Paul 11:14
Let me tell Members, there is a politically popular position in this country that many are not aware of: The tragedy of so many families seeing their loved ones die and suffer without adequate care, 90-year-old people dying of cancer and nurses and doctors intimidated and saying we cannot make them a drug addict. This drug war culture that we live with has done a lot of harm in the practice of medicine. Attacking the physicians who prescribe pain medicine and taking their licenses from them is reprehensible. I ask Members to please reconsider, not so much what we do today, but in the future, maybe we will wake up and decide there is a better way to teach good habits to American citizens.

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